Liverpool must maintain the mentality that has made them Premier League leaders when they take on Manchester United, believes Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Reds’ diligence throughout the season built up a 14-point advantage at the top ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, which see United visit Anfield on Sunday.
As a local lad, Alexander-Arnold understands the strength of feeling that underpins the rivalry between the clubs and is relishing the showdown with United.
But the right-back also feels Liverpool’s best route to victory is to ensure the significance of the occasion does not influence their performance.
“For the fans, it means a lot to beat them,” he told Sky Sports. “We need to not get caught up or let our emotions ride over into the game.
“It’s a big game and the atmosphere will be amazing. We’ve got a job to do, we need the fans to be there, we need to get our tactics right and make sure we’re not going in there with complacency because of our league position.
“We know we’re there [at the top] for a reason and that’s our mentality. The way we approach games has been good so far but we’ve still got a long way to go and that’s the way we look at it.”
On his personal experience of the rivalry with United, the No.66 said: “Growing up, you start to learn about what their past was like and you learn about Liverpool’s past, and you start to realise they are fairly similar in terms of the trophies they’ve won.
“They always seemed like they had the best players, the best teams, they knew how to win and they’d win a lot of games. Not many teams could match them and they’d always find a way no matter what, scoring last-minute goals. You always had that feeling that no matter what was happening, United would win.
“The history and the rivalry was always there and you knew that from a young age. The two most meaningful wins of the season that fans will look for – and the fixtures they’ll look for before a ball is kicked – is Everton and Manchester United.”